Co-determination is the most important thing for any kind of organization so we discuss here the unique features of Co-determination.
Features of Co-determination
1. Ensures participation and cordial industrial relations
Co-determination ensures worker’s participation in management to the extent which is unparalleled in the whole of Europe. Workers feel themselves an integral part of management and put to their best in the workplace.
This has helped reduce the age-old authoritarian attitude of managers and has turned German industrial relations to be one of the best in the world. The occurrence of industrial conflict is almost at its lowest level and the loss of man-days on account of the strike is almost nil.
Research studies indicate that within the 16 West European countries, during the eighties, the loss of production due to industrial disputes has been the lowest.
2. Product quality and productivity at a high level
German industrial productivity has been the highest in the world during the last few decades. It has been possible due to the wholehearted co-operation of workers, who feel like active partners in a system, often referred to as “productivity coalition” among shareholders, managers, and workers. This coalition has not only ensured quantity but also the quality and it is well known that quality and German products go together.
3. The bigger span of supervision due to the technical efficiency of workers and managers
Technical efficiency is the yardstick of the promotion of German workers. They are trained and evaluated regularly and therefore, are competent to work with little supervision from managers who consider themselves not as a boss but as a guide to fellow workers. Such managers are mostly engineers and/or economists and receive extensive work-related training before they are assigned the job as managers.
4. German managers think about the functionally specific rather than the managerial general
The Management course offered by German business schools is more work-related than those of American business schools. Moreover, apprenticeship for potential executives is essential which makes managers technically efficient and competent to lead the work team and help the workers in their work-related problems.
5. Industrial Jobs is considered the most prestigious and respectable
In modern Germany, industrial, jobs are much more prestigious than the jobs in either civil or military bureaucracy. Before World War-II, the young generation in Germany preferred jobs in defense services but the situation has changed after the war.
Management positions in industries have been considered doubly rewarded by university graduates since such jobs allowed them to work for national reconstruction on one hand and also to ensure bright career prospects for themselves.
6. Emphasis on production management
Co-determination emphasizes upon production. The managers consider themselves as production managers. Most workers are also engaged in production. The industrialists think that the marketing of products would be automatic if the wheels of the production run well.
Thus unlike American, British, or French emphasis on marketing management, German emphasis is on production management. In any factory, the Production Manager is the most respectable man and often earns much more than anyone else in the factory.
7. No separate engineering division
German workers are technical experts and can take care of their machinery will. Each and every worker can be called an engineer and the result is the non-existence of any separate engineering division within the factory.
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